Are You a Hunter or the Hunted?

posted by Key Kain on Monday, April 17, 2017 in Office Equipment Blog

Pictured above: (Standing L to R) Key Kain, GreatAmerica Financial; Ken Copeland, ASI Business Solutions; Chap Breard, MOEBiz; Nate Lankford, GreatAmerica Financial. (Kneeling L to R) Brad Knepper, All Copy Products, Inc.; Howard Hansen, Valley Office Systems.

As an avid outdoorsman, hunting, specifically, has taught me many important lessons. I learned quickly that I got a different result when sitting in the turkey blind with decoys waiting for something to happen versus stalking through a creek bottom using the fan trick. Spending a little more time actively searching—I became a more effective turkey hunter.  When I took this same concept and applied it to my selling style—I became a better sales person. By getting out of my seat and making something happen, I became a “hunter.”

Finding the hunters for your organization has its own challenges.  Easily one of the top three customer needs is finding good people. Visiting customers regularly confirms this, and organizations are especially in need of good salespeople. A recent discussion with a loyal customer allowed me to find out they had plenty of sales reps able to service customers: answer their questions, provide support and meet customer expectations. Though they consistently showed up to work, worked hard and could take anything thrown their way—they were reactive “farmers.”  

What they were missing were proactive hunters—specifically, people who were comfortable introducing themselves to new people or striking up a conversation with a new prospect. Someone who would get rejected and be able to bounce right back. As their sales manager stated at the company meeting, they had aggressive growth goals. They needed people that would wake up in the morning, get in the car, put the address in the GPS and go somewhere.   

You might be asking yourself the same question I am—How can we hire and inspire employees willing to get out from behind the turkey blind and actively pursue the target (become a hunter)? Here are a few simple ways:

  1. Focus on the behaviors of a hunter when hiring.

    • Is this someone who can quickly build rapport and get that 1st appointment? Will they bounce back when they get rejected and keep calling and driving for net new business?

  2. Build a sales process that allows even your current farmers to continually hunt for new opportunities within accounts.

    • Just like a farmer protects their land rights and stops other hunters from trespassing, protect your accounts by proactively anticipating their needs.

  3. Don’t give up. Be persistent in recruiting and grooming a hunter mentality within your sales team.

    • If hunters don’t hunt, they go hungry. If your sales people aren’t actively calling on new prospects, your sales pipeline dries up.

Success rarely falls in our lap. Growth doesn’t happen if you sit back and wait—you make it happen. Now go out and hunt for it.   

Resources: Interested in learning more about how to hire hunters for your organization, check out our PathShare® HR Services, here.

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About The Author

Key Kain, Vice President of Sales, is responsible for providing unified, strategic leadership for the sales processes in the Office Equipment Group's internal business teams. He has been involved in lease financing since 2007. Prior to joining GreatAmerica, Key was a team leader at the Financial Services headquarters for Praxair Distribution. Key started in the Office Equipment Group as a portfolio manager with the Northeast Team, becoming a Vendor Relationship Manager-Sales in 2009. In 2014, he was promoted to Director, Vendor Relationship Development and Sales Mentor prior to becoming Vice President of Sales in 2016. Key received his B.A. in Business Administration from Grand View University.

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